Great news! I am now the Blogger for Yanders Law – a 17 and under AAU basketball program spread around the Midwest.
My work with The Basketball Movement as their blogger and occasional reporter/analyst has paid off nicely! Not only is it just fun to write about basketball, but I am now also doing similar stuff for Yanders Law, a grassroots basketball program for boys and girls from 17 down to 11 years old.
Aside from enjoying being around the sport of basketball, this is also another paying gig for me. Side-hustling is taking off and I am pretty excited!
Yanders Law has several boys and girls team in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I am currently helping them to establish their new site as I learn more about their players and teams.
While I was here, I noticed that I did not create a post in November. While that is a bit sad, it is a good things as well. Not only have I been busy getting paid to write, I have also been spending every other bit of free time soaking up my family.
Luke is almost four months old now and couldn’t be better. We are afraid to ever have a second kid because he/she will likely be a disappointing handful after our current angel. That is probably a post for another day.
As always, thanks for your continued support! See you (hopefully) soon!
I spelled sports with a “z” at the end. I hope you liked that flashy attention grabber.
Now that you have read the title and sub-heading, you are likely thinking “I still don’t really know what this is going to be about.” That’s the fun of my personal blog, my friend; if I choose to throw search engine optimization out the window and have a title, header, and first paragraph with no nice keywords or even any real meaning, that’s my prerogative.
It is at this point that I would like to apologize. So… sorry. Let’s blame all this coffee. Damn you, coffee.
Actually, the title of this post was decently descriptive for what I plan on writing about. There are a lot of fun sportz things happening right now in October of 2018. Basketball is fun, football is fun, and baseball is still on.
I tried to get more into baseball this year, I really did. I joined a public fantasy league, vowed to watch more regular season Cardinals action, and kicked myself for missing what was apparently a great World Series last year. Baseball on TV just blows.
I stopped paying attention to my fantasy team as it is far too tedious. I never watched a regular season game because it is so boring. The World Series is currently underway and I just. Don’t. Care. If it isn’t postseason Cardinals baseball, I ain’t watching.
The NBA is back baby. There have been seasons in the past in which I find myself slightly disinterested for this reason or that. This year – I am all-in.
I am pleased with my fantasy team as I was able to secure some players I genuinely enjoy watching as well as some promising breakout talent. My top three picks were Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Kyle Lowry. They were followed up closely by my favorite player, Blake Griffin, who just dropped 50 points in a OT thriller. MY MAN.
I am pumped about basketball this year and am going to try and follow more college hoops as well. Check out a couple quick NCAA hoops articles I wrote for The Basketball Movement over here.
*insert tomahawk chop gif here* Three words: Kansas City Chiefs. Two more words: Patrick Mahomes. Many more words: The Chiefs are amazing this year and I am so excited.
Rookie QB Patrick Mahomes is a legitimate threat to take the MVP honor this years as the Chiefs offense blasts other teams out of the water. The defense isn’t great, but hey, it’s the Chiefs. It won’t all be perfect, but it is so much fun.
My two fantasy football teams are having very different years. One is good, one is bad, and both have several Chiefs players. I still stand by the idea that fantasy football is the fantasy sports king.
THAT’S IT. I genuinely can’t believe you made it to the bottom of this post. You must be my mother. If not, you are at least one of my closest friends. I love you. Talk to you soon!
The site that takes most of my writing time currently is the blog for The Basketball Movement. T.B.M. is a hoops training facility in Nixa (formerly Fox Hollow).
I am the sole contributor for this blog, so everything you see there was done by yours truly. I try to crank out five or so pieces per week. Most are about news from high school to the pros, motivational pieces, or T.B.M updates.
Per usual, this is the time in which i try to convince you that I will focus more on uploading content for my personal blog. You may not believe me any more, but I’ll see what I can do anyway. Follow the above sites and keep checking in to stay on top of my wring adventures. Thanks for stopping by!
I grew up in the days of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds. Things are different now and so am I.
The Harrington household was definitely baseball-first in terms of sports. Aside from Dad recording Chiefs games to watch on his own time, Cardinals baseball was the dominant sport on our television. In some ways, it seemed like those were baseball’s glory days. Turns out it was mostly steroid’s glory days.
Juicing does not really bother me like it seems to bother a lot of people. It was legal at the time most of them were doing it, so of course the top athletes turned to something like roids to set them apart. Anyway, the point here is that everyone was hitting homers like crazy, especially my childhood hero, Mark McGwire.
As the steroid era closed and McGwire faded away, the Cardinals brought up a new HR champ. Albert Pujols stepped up to fill the void McGuire was leaving with some of the greatest hitting the sport had seen. Long underpaid, Pujols left to chase money out west. Again, I do not blame him in the least. I’m still a huge fan of both Pujols and McGuire.
Photo from NBC Sports
Once Pujols was gone, the game quickly stopped holding my attention. The World Series wins in 2006 and 2011 were the pinnacle as a Cardinals fan. Yearly trips to the playoffs were exciting, yet eventually just routine.
Regular season baseball is ridiculous
When the Cardinals are not in the playoffs, I struggle to take note of anything going on. The regular season is so long that it cannot hold my attention. The games themselves are already crazy-long. I am not going to spend dozens of Summer nights sitting on my couch for hours on end hoping that the Cards get to bat soon.
Going to a game is different. The ballpark atmosphere is a blast, filled with tradition, a sense of Summertime, and delicious, expensive snacks and brews. Making it to a game and having the money to spend is an obvious issue. Dropping empty peanut shells onto my carpet at home just isn’t the same somehow.
I tried fantasy baseball for a while in high school, but it is easily the most tedious of the major fantasy sports. Your players play almost daily, so you need to determine who starts and sits everyday, keeping in mind pitching matchups, stadiums, and weather conditions. For the casual fan, it is too much.
I like the sport, so I’m going to give it another shot
Recently homerun hitting has been on the rise again in Major League Baseball. Hitters like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are bringing the long-ball back. Numerous hitters last year had 30+ homers, which is my kind of baseball if it’s going to keep my attention.
I’ve said before that fantasy is the Rosetta Stone of sports. Playing fantasy forces you to learn a bit more about the players and get more familiar with trends in the sport. I’ve joined a public fantasy baseball league with strangers this year so that I can have a no-strings-attached window into the MLB. My team is extremely Cardinal-heavy 🙂
I’m going to do my best to get back into the sport this season, especially on the StL Cardinals side of things. Maybe baseball could be just the thing I need when I’m rocking my new son to sleep many nights. Or maybe it will continue to bore me and I won’t want to risk falling asleep and falling over onto the little fella. Time will tell!
I have taken over the blog for The Basketball Movement
I’ve spoken about this previously, but you may have noticed that there have been less and less articles posted here. I am preparing to get this blog back on track and produce more original content.
Video game articles I write have been going towards Grown Gaming and Thunder articles I write have been going to Thunderous Intentions. These are both on a volunteer basis.
I am now writing basketball-related articles of all kinds for The Basketball Movement as the sole contributor to their blog. My services earn me a little compensation, so I am now a professional writer!
The Basketball Movement is based out of Nixa in what used to be known as Fox Hollow. They are striving to be the top basketball training service in this part of the country.
I write for them about their services, news from prep to pro, and motivational pieces for athletes or anyone striving to improve their craft.
I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to continued collaboration with The Movement.
As I mentioned, I am looking to ramp up this site again as well, so keep an eye out for new stuff. Thanks for your support! I love you.
NBA All-Star weekend is near. The dunk contest is a personal favorite. The Oklahoma City Thunder are another personal favorite.
What if the Oklahoma City Thunder squad held a dunk contest just between themselves? Would Westbrook’s ferocity be too much for the other players to overcome? Paul George has some real dunk contest experience that could be beneficial.
I do my best to come up with how this contest would go in my latest feature for Thunderous Intentions. It is a strange narrative that I think you will enjoy! Just click… HERE.
I have recently become a contributor for thunderousintentions.com! It is a website dedicated to bringing just the news that Oklahoma City Thunder fans want to hear. There are breaking news stories, game previews, postgame analysis, and much more.
I wrote an opinion piece for them explaining that Steven Adams is not only their most interesting player, but possibly one of the most interesting players in the NBA. Read it here:
We are now nearly three weeks into the 2017-18 NBA season. How soon should we begin to assess all of the offseason maneuvers taken by each team? Avery Bradley has had a hot and cold start in Detroit, Paul Millsap has started to look like he’s figuring things out in Denver, and Brook Lopez is only playing 25 minutes per game for the Lakers. There is a lot to dissect if you’re into doing it so soon, but I suppose that’s why you’ve clicked this article. The Thunder are 4-4 as I write this, good for 10th in the West so far (only a win or two from moving up multiple spots). The Cavaliers are 10th in the East and the Spurs are on the outside looking in as well in the West, so you can certainly see that things are bound to change. I don’t care. I want to assess the Thunder anyway.
So far, the big three for the Thunder look pretty good. Carmelo Anthony is leading the team in points per game, which despite his history of studly basket-making skills, is surprising. The general consensus was that Westbrook would remain the alpha dog, Paul George would be the clear-cut number two guy, and Melo would be a catch and shoot stretch big man, taking a bit of a backseat. Taking a backseat has never been Melo’s style, as he demonstrated by fending off emerging star Kristaps Porzingis in New York for scoring looks the last couple of seasons. The pre-season idea was that we would see “Team USA Melo”, meaning efficient scoring mixed with solid defense and an emphasis on rebounding. Hoodie Melo has displayed solid defense, but his rebounding is a bit down while still scoring at a clip we’ve seen from him the last couple of years. Paul George is right where most expected him to be statistically. He has (so far) seen a slight decline in his points, rebounds, and assists, while getting a bump in steals. So where does that leave last year’s NBA MVP?
Photo from news-cdn.wagertalk.com
Westbrook led the NBA in points per game last year at 31.6. He averaged 24 field goal attempts per contest to get there. So far this season, he is averaging 19.5 points and 16 field goal attempts per game. 12 points per game less is a very steep decline no-matter what a player averaged the previous year. The decline in field goal attempts was expected, but is also a pretty staggering difference. Another surprising figure that stands out is a 64% free throw percentage despite still getting almost six attempts per game. This percentage as well as his scoring average are likely to raise and settle into the numbers we have come to expect from one of the association’s top players, but this is a very early assessment after all (which I will likely continue to point out because it really is SO EARLY). The Brodie’s assists are up and he is still nearly averaging a triple-double, so he is getting along in historic fashion despite the uncharacteristic numbers. He is technically on pace to have more trip-dub outings this season than last, if you can believe it.
The Thunder are one of the most defensively efficient teams in the NBA, which is a pleasant surprise. A lot of people like myself said that the key to OKC’s success this year would be a defensive focus and team-oriented mindset. We knew that the offense would be solid between Russ, Melo, and PG-13. There are a lot of capable defenders on the roster – we know that Westbrook and George are tenacious and Andre Roberson is bordering on elite as a wing defender. Steven Adams has never been a top-tier rim protector, but he is solid in the post and has improved his steal and block numbers per game. In fact, Adams has improved across the board much the way people expected he would before last season began, following a strong 2016 postseason campaign. Plus, he is essentially a pirate.
Photo from si.com
As I had mentioned, the new players were expected to bring a healthy punch on offense while playing solid D. With all of the pre-season expectations though came concerns as well. One worry was depth. The starting five looked great, but the bench was a little underwhelming for a team looking to challenge the Warriors’ reign in the West. So far, so good from what I’ve seen off the bench for the Thunder. With Westbrook, you need a backup point guard that can give you a couple of minutes without mental errors while Russ catches his breath before coming back in to breathe more fire – Veteran Raymond Felton fills that role nicely. Alex Abrines has been off to a bit of a slow start, but is a capable shooter that the Thunder need. Jerami Grant has been a bright spot off of the bench playing very good defense and providing his usual energy.
With an intimidating starting lineup, a serviceable backup crew, and one of the NBA’s top defenses, the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking good out of the gate to start the 2017-18 NBA season. Westbrook will only improve as he figures out how to lead his new cast, which is a wild thing to say about a player that is already nearly averaging a triple-double (again). Paul George and Carmelo Anthony already seem surprisingly comfortable and Steven Adams is showing marked improvement, which is important. If you picked the Thunder to be one of the top teams in the NBA, don’t fear, you are looking smart at this point. We still need to see them play some of the league’s best squads, but there have already been more than a few flashes of their potential brilliance. Thunder up.
I know quite a few people – dozens even. Many of them are sports fans, be it professional or collegiate. Some even follow high school sports teams despite not being in high school or having any kids who are either. Why would people do that? It isn’t for me personally because high schoolers are comparatively terrible at sports, covered in acne, and well… mostly children. However, a lot of people though just love to cheer for their hometown team or old high school team, which makes sense.
The aforementioned college sports fans that I know have varied preferences when it comes to the colleges or universities they root for. Living in Missouri, I know fans of Mizzou, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas as well as the classics like Duke, North Carolina, and many more. When people ask me who my favorite college team is, be it basketball, football, or whatever, the answer is the same: the Missouri State Bears. For some reason, people often just snicker and ask for my actual favorite team. My response is always the same: the Missouri State Bears. I don’t necessarily understand why that is so strange.
Now, it should be noted that I’m not the biggest follower of college sports. As I’ve pointed out in the past, I strongly prefer professional sports over all else because it is the game being played at the highest level. That being said, you can’t be a big pro sports fan without being relatively familiar with the college sports scene – that’s where all of the pro prospects come from after all. Getting back to the question of my favorite college team… My answer really confuses people. The reason is of course that MSU isn’t a well-known sports school. They have all the major sports teams and are division I in each. They don’t play in a power conference and haven’t seen a substantial amount of national success. Why be a fan?
I am a fan of Missouri State athletics for much the same reason that many people spend their Friday nights at their old high school. I went to Missouri State and feel a strong sense of school pride. No, I didn’t play collegiate sports or even always do my part in filling the seats for every game. I still spent four (maybe four and a half) years there walking the campus, taking courses, and wearing a lot of maroon and white. We Really, it would be strange for me to claim any other school than Missouri State when asked who my favorite college team is.
I know a lot of diehard Mizzou fans that have only been to the campus for a few football games, nothing else. I know some OU fans who have most likely never even left the state of Missouri before. People can be fans of teams for random reasons, I get that. I probably only prefer the Cardinals to the Royals because my Dad did. I am a Thunder fan because not long after I became an NBA fan, they relocated to OKC from Seattle, becoming the closest NBA team to me. I also understand that not everyone goes to college, but many are still college sports fans for the fanfare and run-through- a-brick- wall mentality that isn’t always as apparent in pro sports. The point I’m trying to make here is that everyone is entitled to their favorite, so I am justified in having Missouri State as my favorite college team for sports. I may not get to see them on ESPN very often and the football team doesn’t always come out on top, but those are my teams.
The highs and the lows might not include phrases like “national championship” or “one-and- done”, but you just have to adjust your expectations. You don’t expect your hometown class 1 high school team to compete with a class 5 high school team. I don’t expect MSU to beat Alabama in football. Missouri State is clearly too focused on things like the College of Business and academics in general. My alma mater is still my favorite sports school and always will be. Go Bears!
Fantasy sports have made me a more informed citizen of the United States of America. Granted, they really just make me more knowledgeable about sports in general and I just happen to be a citizen of the USA, but still.
I wasn’t a big sports fanatic as a kid. I watched some baseball, but largely didn’t know what was going on in the world of sports beyond the St. Louis Cardinals. I even started playing sports in 3rd and 4th grade but it was all brand new to me. I never watched basketball or football (so yes, I was awful at the start of both) so I never had much interest. I started watching some basketball in early high school, but it wasn’t until I tried fantasy sports that my passion for the game really took off.
After just a couple of fantasy seasons, I could tell you the starting five players for all of the 30 NBA teams. You had to know who was going to be getting big minutes, who could hit threes for you, or who the next big thing was that you had to pick up for your team. The competition between your friends is the driving force that makes every weekly matchup interesting. There are basketball games essentially every day during NBA season, so you are always checking your phone or computer in the evenings to see if your players are flourishing or floundering. The same goes as you watch your opponent’s team. Oh, and also it makes you swear sometimes.
When I started dating my wife, I knew nothing about football. I could tell quickly that that could get me into some awkward situations. Her family frequently spent Sunday afternoons watching NFL games and I barely knew what a down was or how many points a field goal was worth. I thought back to fantasy basketball and realized that this situation wasn’t as hopeless as it seemed. It took a few seasons, but I got into a league with a bunch of friends in college and my mind was quickly filled with glorious sports knowledge. My wife’s family claims me in public, and I’m sure that’s the reason.
I am from Missouri and am a Kansas City Chiefs fan. Naturally, I know more about the Chiefs than I do any other team in the league. A coworker and I were recently having a conversation about our fantasy teams and we quickly realized how ridiculous it was that we were able to have the discussion we were having due to the randomness of the players we were talking about. We named eight or so starters on offense for the Minnesota Vikings. Why on Earth would we know about, let alone be discussing the starters for Minnesota? Fantasy knowledge, baby. Fantasy knowledge.
Speaking of conversations, guys don’t always have a lot to say to each other. I know there are exceptions to that and interests vary, but in my experience, you can almost always bring up sports. Sports are a nearly universal language and it is much easier to speak it if you play in fantasy leagues. I am confident in my ability to hold down an airport conversation with a fella from Orlando about his favorite basketball team or a gal from New Orleans about her favorite quarterback.
I’m not telling you to take your kids out of school and enroll them in a fantasy league, even though that would be hilarious. I’m just telling you that if you are a sports fan or would like to be, I recommend deepening your knowledge with some good ol’ virtual team management. It will make you so obnoxiously smart that people will start to roll their eyes with with jealousy when you launch into a spiel about basketball statistics or a football team’s third string running back. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to trash talk those closest to you. If you take nothing else away from this: NEVER pass up an opportunity to trash talk those closest to you.